herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Sean is back in school two months after surviving horror hit-and-run

Sean O’Reilly recovering from his injuries
Sean O’Reilly recovering from his injuries

A schoolboy seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident in Tallaght earlier this year is back in school, just under two months later.

Tallaght student Sean O'Reilly (14) was hit by a car while crossing the Cheeverstown Road on February 4.

He was hospitalised with injuries that included a fractured skull and elbow and broken bones in his leg.

Early last month, Sean's father, John, said he was suffering nightmares following his horrific ordeal.

These have since eased as Sean looks to get back to normality, though his dad said they could return in the future.

A garda investigation is continuing, but no arrests have been made.

Mr O'Reilly said he has been given no indication as to when the brace on Sean's leg for a broken tibia and fibia will be taken off.

He had initially expected it to be off within the next three weeks, but this will not be the case.

"We got him back into school two weeks ago for four days. I wanted to get him back in but he wanted to go back himself," said Mr O'Reilly.

Schools are currently on a two-week Easter break, but the teenager is expected to return more permanently when they resume.

Determined

Sean has also been trying to write in school, despite his severe elbow injury.

"He's just so determined, nothing fazes him at all, and he's just been getting on with it," said Mr O'Reilly.

"He's doing really well. We're still back and forth to the hospital and he still has the cage on his leg."

Sean has weekly visits to the physio in Our Lady's Children's Hospital and check-ups on his injuries every couple of weeks.

However, despite the positive news on his path to recovery, his dad has called on anyone with any information on the hit and run to contact gardai.

"If people can come forward, if they know anything at all, go to the gardai," he said. "It's been two months, it's not going away, gardai are still investigating."

Speaking to the Herald in February, Sean said he thought he was going to die when he saw the car's headlights speeding towards him.

He waited for the green pedestrian signal at a crossing and cars slowed to a stop.

However, when he reached the bus lane a car smashed into him before speeding off.

"I was crossing the road and everything was OK, but when I got to the bus lane I glanced sideways and saw the headlights speeding towards me," he said.

"I just thought, 'I'm done', and then I don't remember anything until around three days later in hospital."

The impact left Sean with a smashed leg and shoulder, and fractures to his spine and skull.

He had to undergo several operations to construct the halo frame that has been placed on his leg, and pins and staples had also to be inserted into his elbow.

"There are eight rods in the halo frame that are screwed directly into the bone in his leg to stabilise it," said his dad.

"He will have to wear the frame for another eight weeks.

"Physically, Sean will recover, but mentally it could take time, we just don't know."

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